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Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut to hit UK cinemas in January 2013


Story by Jack Foley

QUARTET, the directorial debut of Dustin Hoffman, is to be released in UK cinemas on New Year’s Day (January 1, 2013).

Described as a joyous, entertaining and uplifting story about redefining old age and growing old with hope, the film aims to show how the human spirit remains undimmed even as the brightest stars start to fade.

The film stars a panoply of the world’s greatest acting and musical talent including six-time Oscar® nominee and two-time winner Maggie Smith (the Harry Potter series, Downton Abbey, Gosford Park), double Oscar® nominee and BAFTA winner Tom Courtenay (The Dresser, Doctor Zhivago, Gambit), BAFTA nominee Billy Connolly (Mrs. Brown), Oscar® nominee and BAFTA winner Pauline Collins (Shirley Valentine), Olivier Award-winning Sheridan Smith (Legally Blonde, The Musical, Hedda Gabler) and four-time BAFTA winner Michael Gambon (the Harry Potter series, The King’s Speech).

Quartet is written by the multiple Oscar® and BAFTA winning screenwriter Sir Ronald Harwood (The Pianist, The Diving Bell and The Butterfly) and is based on his own play of the same name.

Lifelong friends Wilf (Connolly) and Reggie (Courtenay), together with former colleague Cissy (Collins), are residents of Beecham House, a home for retired opera singers.

Every year on Verdi’s birthday, the residents unite to give a concert to raise funds for their home. But when Jean Horton (Smith), a former grande dame of the opera fallen on hard times, also Reggie’s ex-wife and the fourth and most celebrated member of their former quartet, moves into the home to everyone’s surprise, the plans for this year’s concert start to unravel.

As old grudges threaten to undermine past glories and theatrical temperaments play havoc with the rehearsal schedule, it becomes apparent that having four of the finest singers in English operatic history under one roof offers no guarantee that the show will go on.

First-time director Dustin Hoffman is one of the world’s most celebrated actors. He has received seven Oscar® nominations, winning two Best Actor Awards (for Rain Man and Kramer vs. Kramer), and 10 BAFTA nominations as Best Actor, winning four awards, including Best Actor for both Tootsie and Midnight Cowboy and Most Promising Newcomer in 1969 for The Graduate.

Quartet will have its world premiere at Toronto International Film Festival on September 9.

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